Things to Do in Hong Kong: 24 Experiences For Your Very First Visit

24 Best Things to Do and Places to Visit On Your Next Visit to Hong Kong

Make the most of your time in Hong Kong by hitting up these attractions and activities!

Hong Kong has consistently been rated as one of the top travel destinations in Asia throughout the years and it’s not hard to see why. With such a unique mix of tradition and modernity, the metropolitan city is a kaleidoscope of global cultures and experiences.

For the first-time visitor, Hong Kong and its tall skyscrapers may be a little bit intimidating, but rest assured that you are guaranteed a good time when you visit. And to help make your trip there a little easier, here’s a list of 24 awesome things to do in Hong Kong.  

1. Ride the tram up to Victoria Peak for an awesome night view of the city

Hong Kong Victoria Peak

Image credit: Ed Coyle

2. Visit the famous Madame Tussauds Wax Museum @ Victoria Peak for some wacky selfies

Madame Tussauds Hong Kong

Image credit: 倪少寅

3. Travel to Central aboard the Star Ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui

Tsim Sha Tsui ferry

4. Enjoy the enchanting night view of Victoria Harbour

Victoria Harbour

5. Embark on an epic culinary adventure

Roast meat with rice in Hong kong

Hong Kong is a foodie’s paradise. There are no two ways about it. It’s impossible to visit a city like Hong Kong and walk the aroma-filled streets without stopping to munch on some of the many varieties of culinary goodness on offer. Naturally, going on a foodie tour is one of the most essential things to do in Hong Kong! 

From fancy feasts in Michelin-starred restaurants to more rustic meals in the dai pai dongs (open-air stalls) and cha chaan tengs (tea restaurants), you’re sure to find something that perfectly suits your taste buds. Heck, even the local fast food here will leave you shook! Speaking of which…

6. Sample a taste of Hong Kong Fast Food at Café de Coral or Fairwood  

Breakfast in Hong Kong

Image credit: MK2010

While internationally renowned fast-food chains such as McDonald’s and KFC can easily be found in Hong Kong, it’s their local fast food that takes the cake, with Café de Coral and Fairwood being the top two main fast-food franchises in the city.

Open throughout the day, these two chains serve up delicious, wholesome meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even afternoon tea, with their set meals especially being yummy yet affordable choices for the traveller on a budget. Definitely check them out when you’re in town!

7. Stay at a budget hotel in the Tsim Sha Tsui Area

Chun King Mansion

Image credit: LG4761

If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you’ll no doubt be aware that Hong Kong isn’t exactly known as a particularly ‘spacious’ city. With so many people in the city, most locals put up with limited living spaces and that culture is, for better or worse, a part of the locale in Hong Kong’s tourism industry.

And given how expensive it can be to book a night at a hotel in Hong Kong, staying at a budget hotel may actually be a blessing in disguise. Sure, you won’t find as much luxury as you would in other hotels, but budget hotels are often located right in the heart of the city, in places such as Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui! So not only is it a way to experience the life of the local people, it also puts you closer to many of the attractions in the city!

8. Explore the busy tourist district of Mong Kok

Mong Kok

Image credit: travelwayoflife ?

9. Throng the various local markets in search of a bargain

Ladies Market Hong Kong

Image credit: Bernard Spragg. NZ 

There are many popular street markets in Hong Kong, each with its own unique shopping experiences. Arguably, the most famous of these markets is the Ladies’ Market in the bustling Mong Kok area. You will find a wide spectrum of things to shop for, such as quirky souvenirs, imitations of branded fashion items, and whatever else seems to be in trend. You’ll also find large crowds and overenthusiastic, passive-aggressive shopkeepers ready to bargain with you.

Apart from the Ladies’ Market, other popular destinations are Temple Street Night Market, the Jade Market in Yau Ma Tei, and the Sham Shui Po Electronics Market.

10. Go temple hopping

Wong Tai Sin Temple

Image credit: Daniel Lee

Buddhism and Taoism are major religions in Hong Kong and that is reflected in the number of temples and monasteries you will find throughout the city. It would be a fun idea to go temple hopping and visit all the major temples such as Wong Tai Sin Temple and the Poh Lin Monastery in Ngong Ping.

11. Visit the historical cauldron known as Kowloon City

Kowloon City Park

Ah, I love Kowloon City. I spent the better part of a year here while I was studying in Hong Kong and the city is just one of those underrated gems that really deserve more love.

Just a 15-minute walk away from the Lok Fu MRT Station, Kowloon City represents an integral part of Hong Kong’s cultural history. Top attractions include the historical Kowloon Walled City Park and its vibrant food scene. Oh yes, Kowloon City is famous even amongst local foodies because of its many restaurants and eateries, some of which have been passed down for generations!

Check out this extended guide to Kowloon City for a chance to discover a part of Hong Kong not that many people know about!

12. Visit the many quirky parks scattered throughout Hong Kong

Kowloon Park

13. Explore Ngong Ping Village

Ngong Ping Village

Ngong Ping village is one of the must-visit attractions in Hong Kong. It is home to the famous Big Buddha statue and Poh Lin Monastery! The journey to Ngong Ping itself is rather pleasant as you may choose to board a glass-bottom cable car to get to the village!

Once there, enjoy the fresh air, beautiful natural scenery, and photogenic spots! Just be sure to start your day early as the queue for Ngong Ping can sometimes become ridiculously long. I once lined up for three hours just to get tickets, only to be notified that another two-hour wait was required to BOARD the cable car. So, do plan ahead of time!

14. Hike up the Dragon’s Back for a refreshing break from city life

Also Read: Hiking in Hong Kong: 8 Trails With the Most Picturesque Views

15. Admire the lovely scenery of the Outlying Islands

Tung Ping Chau

Image credit: Doctorho

Speaking of taking a break from city life, did you know that the Outlying Islands provide some of the most stunning scenery in Hong Kong? One of the most therapeutic things to do in Hong Kong is to hop aboard a ferry or boat and visit these little gems off the coast of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. One particular location that stands out is Tung Ping Chau. Known for its photogenic landscapes and enigmatic rock formations that line the shore, Tung Ping Chau is a UNESCO Heritage Site that is well worth the trip. There, you can hike, climb, and even swim to your heart’s content, all while grabbing awe-inspiring pictures of your Instagram page.

But the best part about Tung Ping Chau? You can actually camp overnight and admire the starry sky! And once the day breaks, you’ll also be able to treat yourself to a whimsical sunrise too!

16. Head to the beach for an awesome summer party

Hong kong South Bay Beach

Image credit: Diliff 

17. Experience life at an authentic fishing village in Tai-O

Tai O Village

Image credit: Pete

Can’t wait to go hiking in Hong Kong, or experience life at an authentic fishing village? Take one step closer to your next vacation by booking your flight to Hong Kong through KAYAK from just S$171*! 

 *prices fluctuate daily

18. Shop ‘til you drop!

Hong Kong The Landmark

Image credit: See-Ming Lee 

Hong Kong is world-famous as a shopper’s paradise and you certainly get a sense of that the moment you head out into the city. Ten-storey malls and shopping complexes are the norm in the city and you will certainly find it difficult to resist the urge to buy something, or at least go window shopping.

Some of the most popular things to buy in Hong Kong are fashion items and cosmetics. But even if you’re looking to do your shopping away from the glitzy malls and expensive brands, you’ll certainly find your fair share of bargain deals.

For example, if you’re in the market for a new pair of sneakers, make sure to head over to Fa Yuen Street for some shoe-shopping therapy! With competitive prices and an almost uncountable number of stores, you’re more than likely going to return with a new pair of Jays.

19. Paint the town red with the vibrant nightlife at the Lan Kwai Fong District  

Lan Kwai Fong

Image credit: Cliffchen1973 

20. Ride the Ding-Ding Trams and explore Central Hong Kong

Ding Ding Tram Hong Kong

21. Enjoy a drink at the highest bar in the world

OZONE Hong Kong

Image credit: Daniel Gillaspia

Can’t get enough of the city vibes of Hong Kong? Then one of the most satisfying things to do in Hong Kong is to admire the city skyline at night whilst enjoying a lovely cocktail at OZONE, the world’s highest bar! OZONE is located on the 118th floor of the International Commerce Centre (ICC) in West Kowloon and is part of the famous Ritz Carlton Hotel. It is where you will get to enjoy some of the finest selections of wines and cocktails in the city. But more than that, it also offers patrons an unobstructed view of the harbour, West Kowloon, and Hong Kong Island!

Apart from the view and the drinks, OZONE is also a popular spot for Sunday brunch, serving scrumptious meals that include oysters, lobsters, and even wagyu beef!

22. Have fun at Ocean Park

Ocean Park Hong Kong

Most people will tell you that you simply MUST visit Hong Kong Disneyland when you’re in the city. But let’s not forget that Ocean Park is worth as much a visit as Disneyland, and here’s why.

You get the usual theme park rides, carnival games, and jovial atmosphere at Ocean Park, but with the added attractions of an aquarium and the chance to meet various animals such as pandas and dolphins. If you’re travelling with children, I highly recommend visiting Ocean Park for an enjoyably fun day. I mean, just LOOK at this red panda!

Red Panda at Ocean Park Hong Kong

23. Take a day trip to Macau

Macau

24. Or visit Shenzhen by rail

Shenzhen

Image credit: Yida Xu 

Public transport in Hong Kong is such a blessing. Not only can you get from one point to another in a short amount of time, but you can also even get on a train that takes you right to Shenzhen in Mainland China (visa on arrival is available at immigration).

So, if you have time to spare, why not make a quick trip to Shenzhen, one of the most developed cities in Mainland China, and enjoy some of the wonderful sights and smells (there’s a lot of good food there) the city has to offer.

There’s yet more to discover

things to do in hong kong

Image credit: Bertwood Photos

To be honest, this list covers only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things to do in Hong Kong. The city is such a maze that you might even stumble into a nice little café or eatery by accident (look up while walking the streets, because many shops are hidden away on the second or third floor of buildings in the city). In fact, a friend of mine once brought me into a secret anime-themed arcade and for the life of me, I can’t even remember how we got there (lots of passageways and a random elevator in an apartment building).

So the only true way to see Hong Kong is to go to Hong Kong! What’re you waiting for? Plan your visit now! Psst, having lived in Hong Kong, I can tell you now that the weather in the early months of the year is amazing, especially if you’re planning on going to Ngong Ping or hiking.

About Author

Darren Yeoh
Darren Yeoh

Darren enjoys the finer things in life and loves exploring unfamiliar places on foot, guided with nothing but instinct and a good-old fashioned map. He enjoys cultural experiences and exciting adventures and is not a stranger to travelling alone. When he's not putting his travel experiences into words, he's probably sitting behind his laptop, planning his upcoming adventure.

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